Irish Distillers has revealed the second limited edition expression in the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection – a 46-year-old whiskey priced at US$45,000.
The first expression in the range, a 45-year-old single malt, was unveiled in February 2020.
Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers unit will launch one whiskey each year until 2025 as part of the new collection, with each expression ranging in age from 45 to 50 years. The six-strong series is thought to be Ireland’s oldest whiskey collection.
Chapter Two in the collection is a 46-year-old single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1973.
Irish Distillers said single pot still Irish whiskey was nearly non-existent as a category by the time the liquid for Chapter Two was laid in casks during the 1970s.
Initially filled into a selection of Sherry and Bourbon casks and left for more than 20 years, the whiskey was then married and recasked into refill Bourbon casks under the supervision of master distiller Barry Crockett and his son Max.
After a number of years, the whiskey was later recasked into new Port pipes and left to rest. Finally, the liquid was moved into a refill Bourbon cask.
On the nose, the whiskey offers a ‘vibrant, fruity bouquet’ with exotic spices, dark fruits, hazelnut and worn leather. The palate brings a combination of ‘berry fruits and mellow pot still spices’ along with hints of anise, ginger, malt and oak.
The expression has been guided by several master distillers, including Brian Nation (2013 to 2020) and Kevin O’Gorman, who took up the position in June last year.
‘Complex and rare’
O’Gorman said: “Like the distillate itself, the maturation journey of this whiskey is both complex and rare. The craft of recasking requires incredible attention to detail and constant sensory assessment.
“When managed successfully it can produce an exquisite whiskey of great complexity. The benefits of the recasking process are evident in the remarkable vibrancy of this ultra-aged Irish whiskey.
“As master of maturation it was a joy to oversee the ageing process of this expression in recent years. This year as master distiller, and with the whiskey at peak perfection, I had the pleasure of overseeing its bottling as Chapter Two in the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection.”
The collection is inspired by nature’s elements – water, fire, earth and wood. The packaging for Chapter Two pays homage to the role of water and the Dungourney river.
Each succeeding release will reflect the element which most influenced its creation.
Chapter Two comes in a handblown crystal decanter, produced by Ireland’s Waterford Crystal.
It is contained in a wooden cabinet, made using wood up to 200 years old from reclaimed oak whiskey vats, as well as elm and rare Japanese tamo.
Only 70 bottles of the whiskey are available, priced at RRP US$45,000/ €40,000/ £38,000 per bottle. It is available in Ireland, the UK, the US, France and global travel retail.
In February this year, Irish Distillers unveiled Midleton Very Rare 2021 – the first whiskey in the series from O’Gorman.